Stellenbosch, South Africa – Steinhoff International, a major furniture retailer, has delayed its annual results announcement as independent auditors go over its books.
The firm said in an announcement on 5 December that ‘new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation.’
Steinhoff added that it had appointed PwC as the independent auditors, and that it would also be looking at previous year’s accounts.
The firm said in a statement, ‘Markus Joost, CEO, has today tendered his resignation.’ He has been replaced on a temporary basis by Cristo Wiese, the firm’s supervisory board’s Chairman.
The retail business will be managed by Pieter Erasmus, formerly CEO of Pepkor Group, a Steinhoff subsidiary.
The supervisory board said that it will ‘embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company’s business with a view to maximising shareholder value’.
Earlier (4 December) Steinhoff said it expected to publish audited consolidated financial statements before 31 January 2014.
According to NDR.de, a German-language website, the public prosecutor in Oldenburg, near Steinhoff’s headquarters in Westerstede, Germany, started investigating the company in August this year over accounting irregularities, which may have overvalued the business.